Number of overseas tourists rise 7% in first three months of 2018

The number of overseas visitors to Ireland in the first three months of the year increased by 7%.

The CSO figures show an extra 124,500 people visited Ireland between January and March.

Ireland is a popular destination among people from Mainland Europe with Germany - Italy and Spain all recording increases.

North America also continues to perform well.

The boost is being welcomed by Tourism Ireland.

Nial Gubbins, CEO said: "While we welcome the fact that arrivals from Britain are up very slightly, this doesn’t represent a turnaround in the long-term trend.

"The impact of Brexit on outbound travel from Britain, therefore, remains a concern.

"The fall in the value of sterling has made holidays and short breaks here more expensive for British visitors and has made Britain more affordable for visitors from many of our top markets.

"Competitiveness and value for money remain more important than ever in Britain this year.

“Looking to the upcoming summer season, the air and sea access picture is very positive – with increases in the number of airline seats from Britain, Mainland Europe, North American and long-haul markets.

"We particularly look forward to seeing the impact of new long-haul flights on Irish tourism this summer – including the Hainan Airlines flight from Beijing and the Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong, both due to begin in June.

"In terms of ferry services, there will be an increase in the number of sailings and capacity between Mainland Europe and Ireland this year."

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